HBO Announces Layoffs

Industry consolidation forced Home Box Office to lay off approximately 40 employees earlier this week as part of a restructuring effort.

The layoffs were isolated to middle-management employees in the network’s subscriber-marketing and sales departments, according to sources close to the network.

HBO president of sales and marketing Eric Kessler said in a prepared statement, "In response to the consolidation in the cable industry, we restructured last year to an account-based organization and have since been evaluating our staffing needs. The new structure enables us to maintain the high level of support to our affiliates that they have come to expect from HBO while operating on a more efficient basis."

The move follows similar cuts last year at HBO rivals Showtime Networks Inc., which laid off 10% of its work force, and Starz Encore Group LLC, which eliminated 100 positions and closed four regional offices due to consolidation among the industry’s MSOs.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.